7 June 2012 by Pelle Neroth
So many businessmen, tourists and decision makers from Paris, Brussels and locations beyond walk through the area. St Pancras is better than London's airports because it is much smaller and more focused. Plus, it makes up a far greater proportion of travellers' traffic from Paris and Brussels than does aviation even if you lump all four London airports' statistics together. You get more bangs for your buck marketing yourself at St Pancras. More eyeballs with less effort.
There is just one main concourse. The airports are such chaotic and stressful bazaars of sense impressions that you would think marketing efforts find it hard to stand out. Marks and Spencer seem to have understood with a very well stocked shop full of British foods that can be taken on one's travels ', sweets, union jack tins with biscuits. Lots of sandwiches and crisps but also their main food lines, which they resist charging location premium prices for .Other leading retailers have also made sure to have a presence on the public shopping area, as much as for marketing presence purposes as anything else. Unfortunately this may just contribute to the idea of Britain as a retail heaven. But we knew that already.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said during the recent election campaign that Britain has "no real industry left". Yet the Kings Cross/St Pancras area (King's Cross is next door) could turn out to be a real "Where Britain meets Europe" knowledge and entertainment hub. The new King's Place arts centre. The British Library is right next door and the Francis Crick biomedical research centre also being constructed next to that.
The life sciences is the area where Britain is still indisputably outstanding. A lot of scientists and people from industry will be making the 50 metre stroll from the station when the international research centre opens in 2015. And now the engineers have caught on.
Dyson has set up a stand for its new bladeless fan, surrounded by stationery shops and sushi bars. However, the advertisement for French engineering is the Eurostar trains at the platform level above. While Gare du Midi in Brussels and Gare du Nord in Paris are much less welcoming, shabbier, places than St Pancras, the two hour journeys on these high speed operations give plenty of time for the traveller to reflect on the differences between Britain and France.
Pelle Neroth -- EU correspondent
Posted By: Pelle Neroth @ 07 June 2012 11:57 AM General
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